Milan Fashion Week gripped by 90s nostalgia

Here's a look at the five trends that show exactly why 90s nostalgia swept over the just-ended Milan Fashion Week.

Technicolour cargo pants, leather lumberjack shirts and guest stars such as Paris Hilton, Carla Bruni, Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss — nostalgia for the 1990s swept over the just-ended Milan Fashion Week which channelled hits by Haddaway and Alizee on the runway for the spring/summer 2023 collections.

Here are a few of the trends:

Cargo pants reworked

Camouflage cargo pants — emblematic of the 1990s — were reworked in delicate fabrics and shades screaming Florida by maisons such as Fendi, which reverted to champagne silk as well as an eye-popping orange.

Versace opted for a version in deep violet as well as in pink satin for a boss-woman look favoured by Donatella while Dolce & Gabbana revisited their classic looks including ripped jeans.   

Dresses over trousers

Another trend that made a major comeback was the dress worn over trousers.

Miuccia Prada showed transparent gowns over pants and Fendi mirrored the same look to showcase fluid trousers, the obi and kimono tailoring.

Paris Hilton click-clacked down the runway in a shimmering pink dress with matching veil and Carla Bruni and Naomi Campbell flaunted trench coats for Tod’s.

Armani, the master of the deconstructed suits, looked to India, China and Syria for inspiration with sarong-like trousers and fluid robes and the languid silk silhouette that Giorgio is renowned for.


Tops, gowns, pants and jackets in silk and satin all went back to sparkle and shine with shades that evoked the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Master showman and flamboyant couturier Roberto Cavalli turned to ivory — the staple of bygone stars like Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo — while young prodigy Matthieu Blazy showed off exquisitely worked scarves for Bottega Veneta.

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Prada’s undulating lines had warm colours while Versace used classic lace and black in its wedding gown.

 Kim Kardashian Dolce & Gabbana
US media personality Kim Kardashian presents a creation for Dolce & Gabbana’s Women’s Spring Summer 2023 fashion collection on September 24, 2022 as part of the Fashion Week in Milan | Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

Knitted gowns

Fendi and Jil Sander paraded knit gowns without motifs but with gashes in the midriff. Matthieu Blazy at Bottega Veneta had knitted jacquard dresses with trompe-l’œil motifs inspired by futuristic Italian artists.

Fruit salad

Apples, pears, cherries both in giant and micro versions dominated along with vibrant summer shades at Benetton’s pret-a-porter line.

Roberto Cavalli emblazoned grapes, palm trees and pineapples on gowns while Jeremy Scott at Moschino headlined inflation chic with inner tubes as belts on dresses and dolphin-shaped wings as glove accessories to inspire “mood buoyancy”, according to Moschino.

Milan Fashion Week
A model presents a creation for Benetton’s Women’s Spring Summer 2023 fashion collection on September 25, 2022 as part of the Fashion Week in Milan. (Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP)

“This symbolic uplift starts with daytime looks to stay afloat,” the fashion house said.

“A direct twist on the word ‘inflation’ then starts to enter the relief, with pool toys, life rafts and life preservers.” 

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